What am I doing wrong?

Discuss and share pictures of plants in the genus Heuchera and the hybrid genus Heucherella, commonly known as coral bells and foamy bells.

What am I doing wrong?

Postby John Polka » Jul 07, 2012 12:46 pm

Purchased these from Chris earlier this year... planted them in a bed I completely stripped, amended and mulched...clay soil is my base soil, this area has been amended with maple leaves and fully composted manure... topped with mini pine nuggets... Brownies a bonus(tyvm Chris) has thrived, so has Caramel... Miracle appears to be holding steady... but Mysteria and Stoplight have had the vast majority of their leaves dry up as they grew out...this is within my hosta garden and is one of my shadiest beds that gets 1 inch of overhead sprinkler watering a week...
Brownies
Image
Caramel
Image
Miracle
Image
Mysteria
Image
Stoplight
Image

Thanks for commenting
John
John Polka
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Sep 09, 2010 12:03 pm
USDA Zone: 6

What am I doing wrong?

Sponsor

Sponsor
 

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby Chris_W » Jul 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Hi John,

Sorry you are having trouble with them. Unfortunately that sounds and looks like too much water is causing problems. Also I can see the crown and roots are actually showing on Stoplight, so that is a problem too. Finally your clay base soil may always stay too wet too.

Stoplight does great for me in the shady hosta areas with really well amended, well draining soil but we don't ever give them supplemental water. They've been wilting due to the heat lately but perk up later on. We bury the crowns and like I mentioned, don't ever give them water.

We grow our coral bells in slightly sunnier areas where they get bright but indirect light, and again, we rarely water them. The browing, crispy edges look more like overwater damage on yours.

My absolute best coral bell displays are under our pinetrees and we don't ever irrigate there either. They love the acidic conditions and really loose, airy soil. If you don't have any luck in the garden try growing them in pots using a really coarse, well-draining potting soil that doesn't have any dirt/topsoil in it. We grow Heuchera in pots year round with excellent results.

If you want to try again we can send you some new ones in the fall, and hopefully the advice helps some too.
Image
User avatar
Chris_W
Administrator
 
Posts: 8413
Joined: Oct 05, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Cement City, MI
USDA Zone: 5

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby John Polka » Jul 07, 2012 3:55 pm

Thanks for replying... I was wondering about the crown on Stoplight.... it seemed to be more like a loose hunk of stems... on my others that I've had forever, this hunk is at the soil level....but with the stoplight I questioned whether to bury it or not... I guess I should have buried it...
And I also read the information on heuchera and kin... liking dry conditions more than wet conditions... and how many had issues growing them due to wanting to companion them with hostas, but wanting to heavily water their hostas... so I figured that was true... weird though that brownies and caramel are doing so well... and I have five others I purchased this year in another bed... growing under the same conditions... a little more sun.... Christa, Marmalade, Marvelous Marble, Electra and Citronelle... most showing these overwatered signs...
Seven in the front beds... Dolce Key Lime Pie, Dolce Black Currant, Midnight Rose, Dark Star, Kassandra, Regina and a solid green NOID... most showing these overwatered signs...
Super impressed with Brownies though... its been a real champ... it closest to the sprinkler and absolutely gets drenched everytime I water... you know how impact sprinklers puddle around them...Kassandra has been a champ as well... seems like the ones with the bigger fuzzier leaves are doing better... and the ones that have seemed to want to grow smaller leaves have had the most trouble...
As far as a replacement goes... don't worry about it... I'll do what I can to save these... maybe dig them up this fall and mix in some sand into the soil or something to help drainage... replant and go from there... I don't really do pots at the moment... sucks when you have to buy a 20 dollar pot for a 10 dollar plant lol... If they don't work out...then I'll buy me some more ferns lol.... they really seemed to do well until we had this heatwave and I've been super serious about making sure the gardens get their water... and moving them to another location is out of the question lol.... Thanks again bud..
John
John Polka
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Sep 09, 2010 12:03 pm
USDA Zone: 6

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby boops » Aug 18, 2012 8:39 pm

I agree with Chris too much water. I lost two heuchera this year. We have had a ton of rain and not enough sun to dry the soil. I dug the roots up and moved them, I don't know if they will come back. :( . I don't have clay here, and have very loose soil in the two gardens that I lost the Heuchera in. Staying wet all the time is not good for any plant. Except maybe Astilbe. I've been using rain delays all month on my sprinkler system. Hoping the soil dries out somewhat soon.
My Hosta List

Do one thing everyday that makes you happy
User avatar
boops
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Jun 04, 2012 6:43 am
Location: Long Island, NY
USDA Zone: 6b

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby Tigger » Aug 19, 2012 5:29 pm

Stoplight is a serious challenge to grow. I'm having better luck with Alabama Sunrise, which gives the same look.
User avatar
Tigger
 
Posts: 2724
Joined: Oct 14, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: SE Penna Zone 6b (7a?), lat. 39°50'
USDA Zone: 6b - 7a

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby boops » Aug 19, 2012 7:00 pm

I have it and have had no issues with the two I have along with candy striper, sugar & spice, and Wherryi . I pay no attention to them other than to look at them. :hmm:
My Hosta List

Do one thing everyday that makes you happy
User avatar
boops
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Jun 04, 2012 6:43 am
Location: Long Island, NY
USDA Zone: 6b

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby Bob Scott » Aug 20, 2012 11:48 pm

It took me a long time to realize that without excellent drainage they are doomed. At best they just get smaller each year without it.
Bob Scott
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Feb 17, 2012 12:48 am
USDA Zone: 5-6

Re: What am I doing wrong?

Postby viktoria » Aug 21, 2012 5:07 am

Most or all of the varieties you say are doing well for you are bred using our native H. villosa and are the best performers. My experience is that coral bells in general like more sun than we give them in a hosta garden, especially the yellow-leaved ones.

When planting coral bells, make sure you mound up the soil so that when it settles, the plant is not left sitting in a depression. I like using Perlite to improve drainage and add a quart or so to incorporate into the soil where the plant goes. Coral bells are not heavy feeders and you can also "burn" them by over-fertilizing. Use soluble fertilizer at half strength or less.

Viktoria
Many a great tune has been played on an older fiddle.
User avatar
viktoria
 
Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct 17, 2001 7:00 pm


Return to Heuchera Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CCbot crawler and 0 guests